Episode #77 What it takes to break a cycle of disadvantage to become happy, healthy and successful. Mark Ryan's incredible story of success.

46m ·

Episode #77 What it takes to break a cycle of disadvantage to become happy, healthy and successful. Mark Ryan's incredible story of success.

 Mark Ryan's story of courage.
He grew up in a single-parent household in public housing in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane (parents divorced when my twin brother and I were three years of age after a relationship characterised by domestic violence - mental and physical)

He showed promise academically and was included in various gifted and talented programs as a child

- One of the first students offered a 'Learning for Life' scholarship through The Smith Family in 1997, which allowed me to study Law and Journalism at QUT

- Started my career as a sport journalist in Townsville in 2001, moved to England to play semi-professional cricket in 2006, and stayed there until 2009 working in sports television production

- Worked in various media, communications and strategy roles over the past decade with organisations such as Tatts Group, the Gold Coast Suns AFL Club, and Mater

In 2019, I was named runner-up in the Griffith University Responsible Leadership MBA Scholarship competition, sponsored by Queensland Business Monthly. 

 Since 2017, I've been the Chairperson of Return Serve, which is a not-for-profit organisation which uses free or low-cost sporting activities to help create healthier lives and brighter futures for people from disadvantaged backgrounds

His current role is Manager, Strategic Communications, with Queensland Rail. I've held this role since June this year

We discuss
Childhood trauma - how does that affect the human brain and lived experience?

Changing a person's story and identity throughout life - building a new narrative

The effect of identity on relationships and how you're positioned in society - and how a shift in thinking can change your perception (i.e. when you've come from a disadvantaged background, it's easy to perceive that you're not of the same social status as others ... I tended to feel more comfortable relating to people who had also experienced adversity or come from a challenging background)

How do I make the most of my brain's plasticity (playing new sports; meditation; gratitude; constant learning; curiosity; etc.)

Importance of language in shifting thinking and behaviours (e.g. power of stories and metaphors; performativity; etc. - and how it can be used to translate neuroscience to reach a broader audience)

Important shifts we need to make in the way society views people from disadvantaged backgrounds - acknowledging the complexity of social disadvantage and treating it as a complex challenge, not something that can be 'fixed' with short-term measures

With brain health, shifting from the pathogenic paradigm of health to a salutogenic way of thinking, where appropriate ... again, the human brain and our bodies are complex, they are not there to be 'fixed' as though there is some baseline of health

Psychological safety in the workplace and in society - in organisations, we love ideas that provide certainty (e.g. models of change) which don't embrace the notion of neuroplasticity ... they primarily serve the need for certainty and linear progression amongst people in power

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