Since 2015, Enduring Edge has been a required textbook for a Spring semester Masters degree class for healthcare leaders on “Leading Change in Biotechnology” at Johns Hopkins University. Each year, the students engage in lively discussions, share their experiences honestly and deeply, and leave me feeling I learned more than I could teach. Some of their thoughts are below. —Amita
“The book took me on an incredible journey into an unlimited world with endless possibilities. Every single sentence within the book was very deep, insightful, and inspiring and showed me a new perspective to understand my inner mind. I really liked how specific areas within science and biotechnology were connected to the ways of thinking. For instance, I loved the analogy between how negative and positive thoughts can alter the way we feel about a certain situation and the effects placebo and nocebo drugs have on our body. Personal stories and meaningful statements within the book helped me realize that transforming our state of mind from 1D to 2D to 3D not only influences our daily lives, but also it greatly affects the world we live in. I cannot express how grateful I am that I was given the opportunity to not only read your book in this class, but also have you in our class to discuss the ways we can transform our state of mind.”
“It seems I have been explaining the principles of the 1D, 2D, 3D mind to every friend I have seen since reading the book over the past week or so… Where I have found the tools and concepts mentioned most useful, is actually in my personal relations and decision making… For one, I had never really thought about the difference between instinct and intuition… Both have a visceral sense, and therefore had been blended or caused confusion for me in the past. Seeing instinct and intuition in this new way has really cleared a few things up. I thank you.”
“Thank you for participating in our class! Your book is very inspirational and enlightening, and your writing style is enjoyable and refreshing…. Being innovative and creative is the highest and most difficult form of cognition, and is a difficult state to obtain. Reading your book has helped to understand how I can reach the 3D state and recognize when I’ve arrived in this zone. Thank you so much!”
“I really enjoyed reading Enduring Edge; I found it very inspiring! There were countless times that I would pause from reading and write down quotes that profoundly resonated with me. My absolute favorite quote of the book was, ‘Because, those who learn to harness the powers of their mind do more than transform their lives – they change the world.'”
“THANK YOU!!!! I have been on a journey of developing my leadership skills for several years. This past year a half, I have worked a lot on Emotional Intelligence. Trying to provide an illustration of understanding oneself and the other person, then responding to help all parties is really tough to explain. Your illustration of the car driving down the road compared to a pedestrian walking compared to the aerial view was mind blowing for me. I am a leadership dork and that example sent all kinds of light bulbs off for me. I will be using that illustration all of the time when I am coaching others.”
“One of the most enlightening aspects of the book for me was learning how all of our actions are controlled by these three mindsets. Just knowing there are these three approaches to an outcome have made me much more aware of my actions. I end up asking myself more often now – what mind am I using right now? Can I or should I change my mindset now?”
“Thank you so much for this book. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have already recommended it to many of my friends and colleagues who I think would also enjoy it….
As you state “A well- balanced mind leads us to unleash our full potential.” That statement is something that I have been working on for many years, and I love having the tools and context I need to understand what that means! Thank you!”
“Your book has been a timely read for me and I think I have benefited greatly from it. My company is currently downsizing by 40% and it is a lengthy and arduous process figuring out who is staying and who is going. As such, you can imagine that the workplace environment is not optimal. However, your section about positivity and overcoming the 1D perspective in “Taming the 1D Mind” (p.119) resonated deeply with me. In such a time of uncertainty, it is all to easy to be consumed with fear and anxiety. My colleagues’ negative attitudes set the tone for the whole office and I have often found myself engrossed in this negative mindset as well. Falling into this slump is not only exhausting, but also counterproductive and not sustainable over a 4-5 month period of uncertainty. However, since reading your book I have made a conscious effort to remove myself from the negativity and harness the power of positivity. While I still revert back to negative thoughts from time to time, embracing positive thinking has left me more energized and motivated instead of down in the dumps about this tough period.
Additionally, in the “Training the 2D Mind”, the Do or Die section (p. 136) was another section that resonated deeply with me, given my current work situation. While this is by no means a life or death situation, I would consider it a crisis regards to my career that has forced me to focus. It has led me to questions that had been lurking in the background, but this situation has brought them to the forefront quickly. I think if anything, this situation has taught me to be more self aware so that I can be prepared to answer these questions at any point, not just because I am in crisis mode.
This statement sums it up perfectly for me: “As we learn how to navigate with this compass for the mind, awareness shows us where we are, and perspective where we would like to be. Being positive and bringing focus into our thoughts and actions then guides us there.” (p. 138)
You book has brought me great perspective and because of this I am in a better place and better equipped to deal with not only what is currently going on at work, but also future challenges that I may face, so for that, thank you.”
“Your thoughts presented in Enduring Edge are very enlightening, I learned a lot and am able to look at things from a different perspective as a result of reading your book…. I hope use a lot of your strategies in my own life to reach the 3D mind at a faster pace…. Thank you very much for all your work. I find it very helpful and relevant to me and my personal growth.”
“I’m humbled at your accomplishments and your drive and you inspire me to be more focused on the direction I envision for my life… I’ve recommended your book to others and hope they enjoy it as much as I have.”
“It was a revelation, in many ways, while reading the book, throughout its course. It dove in deeper depths than I knew existed. It was like a roller coaster ride into the jungles of my mind. The point that stuck with me was the one that was about leading the mind instead of being led by it. It is a fresh and new perspective for me, for I used to always consider the latter and it did make sense. However, upon reading your book, I feel that former would yield better results, holistically.”
“I have mixed emotions about the text Enduring Edge. Let me clarify that I thought the book was very insightful, thought provoking, and well written. I had mixed emotions because many of the statements made in the text felt like old truths that I already knew but somehow forgot. Initially this invoked feelings of frustration and anger. I immediately began to analyze my behavior over the course of several years and felt regret for not employing the 3D mindset… The book was spot on, that I have been using the wrong tools to solve my problems. I have been treating everything like a nail and using my hammer with both hands. So Enduring Edge has caused me some distress and frustration, but I love books that provoke an emotional response.”
“I greatly enjoyed reading your book and found it very applicable to the concepts of this course and really made me reflect on how I go about my everyday life.”
“I could not stop reading as I felt I was unlocking what I knew to be in my soul, but could not rationally explain until now. In parallel, it is intuitively easy to understand and connects with my understanding of why some people are able to make changes at one level and not another. In addition, it is inspiring in that it says anyone can make change on whatever their stratum and way of thinking is aligned. Finally, the stories themselves prove the science and connect with reality. I would recommend this as a must read.”
“Enduring Edge is an excellent textbook for our ‘Leading Change in Biotechnology’ course. For me it combines core elements of important academic psychology concepts (ones that I have long since forgotten) with extremely helpful perspectives on how to optimize life in very practical ways. Every few years, I try to re-read the ground-breaking (and now classic) How to Win Friend and Influence People by Dale Carnegie… I can honestly say that I will now include Amita’s book into that repertoire. Enduring Edge is equally (if not more) relevant to actively finding the ‘3-D’ state of mind that I’ve often utilized Carnegie’s book for. What I loved about Enduring Edge was correlating the 1D, 2D & 3D mindsets to the ancient cityscape. Whether traveling by car (most restrictive), by foot (more liberating) or by helicopter (most insightful) the analogy is spot on and actually does a better job of explaining the fundamentals of the id, ego and super-ego than most textbooks in Psych 101 courses.”
“Enduring Edge was a wonderful read. As I read it, I felt as though I was rediscovering myself through deep inner reflections. I really liked its approach of first explaining the types of mind, then providing a recipe for training them from 1D or 2D into successful 3D minds. This book drives a reader to define their own purpose in order to make the best of every situation in life. I see this book as not just something one reads like a normal book but rather a reference to consult from time to time for guidance when needed in different situations in life.”
“I can’t thank you enough for being part of this class – sharing your stories, tools and wisdom with us has been truly inspirational. Your words have helped me to understand that true leadership isn’t limited to the office or laboratory – but rather a life choice and always with us.”
“Enduring Edge is beautifully written and inspiring. In general terms it reminded me of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Enduring Edge however has an extra component to it in its evaluation of the 3D mind, where Thinking Fast and Slow focuses on the 1D and the 2D mind. Furthermore, Enduring Edge is a smoother read than Thinking Fast and Slow, which is very interesting but is a ‘reading-trek’… I agree with the book that understanding, and then embracing, the 3D mind is life altering in a positive way. I have learned a lot from the book and am glad I had the opportunity to read it.”
“I really enjoyed reading your book. It actually got me a little teary-eyed a few times, recognizing the truth and simplicity of your words. I really like how you wove philosophical, religious and scientific themes together, making the book itself a demonstration of the fruitfulness of the 3D mind…. It reiterated many of the themes I’ve found to be true throughout my life, but I found it unique in that you included biotechnology and science in your stories. It was truly a journey – simple and full of universal truth.”
“I greatly enjoyed reading about the mind and how different ways of thinking can affect our leadership roles. This book has made me want to be more positive to bring out the 3D mind.”
“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the imagery in the writing; it made the whole read very enjoyable!”
“Thank You! for creating this work. I needed to reset and look at things differently, reading this book felt as though you were sitting across from me and talking to me.”
“I can’t express how timely and truly healing your book has been for me.
I have been the outlier in the biotech/pharma industry for decades. Your quote, “What gives some the courage to speak up or raise uncomfortable truths where no one else has dared before, thus risking their careers for the greater good?” struck me through. You gave words to an aspect of my authentic self that I have been somewhat ashamed of for years. I did not realize (and could not see) that I have been authentic to my convictions all this time….
Until now I couldn’t truly understand that my resistance to detrimental actions from colleagues in the industry was being true and authentic to myself. I never saw it as brave or courageous. I have tried for years to just keep my head down and ignore these things. I have rarely succeeded.
Having this perspective about me, guided by you, removes many fears and opens new possibilities.
I recently wrapped up (by my own design) a CEO position for a start-up, for several reasons. All of those reasons are ones you challenge us to face, in your book. It was a painful and difficult decision but I knew it was right. Here I am left with this decision before I have decided (or found) the next path. Your words have encouraged me to pause in this moment and explore myself to find the answer. How incredibly peaceful this feels.
Thank you for this gift of your journey!”
“Your book has been such a wonderful read. I definitely agree with using the 3D state of mind in conjunction with 1D and 2D states. I recently started meditating for a few minutes each day and the most challenging part is to quiet the 2D state of mind. It is constantly thinking and for maybe a brief second it will quiet down but thoughts appear again out of nowhere. This book reinforced my will to look within for the truth and purpose of life. Thank you!”
“I really enjoyed the journey you took us through as you helped us to begin to understand and appreciate the different approaches to managing situations…. Many thanks for the opportunity to read your book and offer up my thoughts – a wonderful experience.”
“Amita. I share everyone’s enjoyment in having you in our class. Your resume is quite impressive and it speaks highly of you to be involved in the education and development of others- a true leader. In many organizations, leaders with your accomplishments spend much time in the 2D mind- ego-centric & logically talking themselves through daily decisions, most often deferring to the 1D mind when it comes to bettering others, favoring self-preservation over the greater good. You are truly an inspiration. One thing that continues to resonate with me is your revelation: ‘what gives some the courage to speak up or raise uncomfortable truths where no one else has dared before, thus risking their careers for the greater good…'”
“Thank you so much for all the coaching and advice you have provided during this class, words cannot explain how grateful I am for your inclusion.”
“I really did enjoy the read…. Your approach though at times philosophical was very methodical as well. One of your most illustrative quotes that struck me was, about the simplicity of fear. Again, though philosophical it was very insightful. ‘Fear can arise from a true external threat, from our perception of a neutral event as a threat, and even from imagining a threat. Just the thought of walking through a forest alone at night can arouse fear.’ This quote was so telling, because it really showed how much our minds control everything around us.”