Recently, Petra Coach presented a webinar, “This Is Your Brain On Money” with Bill Troy. You can access the full recording below.

For more information on the Polaris Process – email Bill at or visit

Top Takeaways

3 Goals for Today

  1. Understand how your brain works based on the latest neuroscience
  2. Experience how your brain works using money as a lens
  3. Leave with the potential to see new opportunities that have been hiding in plain sight right in front of you.\

About Polaris Institute

Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade the World

Activating sustainable human change through the latest insights in neuroscience.

What Human Change?

WE are our only remaining threat in the world. We can manage other threats, but we are attacking ourselves. Technology is out pacing us – we are the weak link. We are not doing anything to “upgrade” ourselves.

What Kind of Change?

Brain-based change – your brain is the most powerful complex object in the known universe

How We Do It:

  1. A lifelong, integrated change process
  2. Science based tools and facilitation
  3. Experiences, coaching and curated community

3 Facts of Neuroscience

Neuroscience Fact # 1:

Our brains were wired for only one thing: to keep us safe

Great at anticipating threats, but our brain is NOT trying to make us happy, fulfilled, etc. It’s just trying to carry on the species. If you want to do those other things, you need to upgrade it.

Neuroscience Fact # 2:

The Challenge: Our brains use a LOT of energy

Example: Professional chess players eat 6,000 calories a day because they use so much energy they will literally lose weight

This means the same thing that keeps us safe is the same thing that can kill us when used too much.

Neuroscience Fact # 3:

The solution: prediction from memory instead of processing

When we do something one, we use that stored memory version repeatedly indefinitely

Not just physical – emotional and mental too

Your Brain on Money

25 “Realities” Related to Money

Which ones of these leap out to you as obvious or ridiculous?

  1. Taking risk is how you make money.
  2. Taking risk is how you lose money.
  3. Money makes people happier.
  4. Having money makes me a target for people who want to take it from me.
  5. I have a specific “number” that I’m trying to reach that will indicate that I have enough money.
  6. Money is tangible proof that I am delivering value to the world.
  7. Money is a scorecard that shows how I measure up.
  8. Like the water in a river, money comes into my life and flows out of my life in a continuous cycle. I’m part of a larger money ecosystem.
  9. Having money means having options.
  10. Money needs to be actively managed.
  11. Having money means you have responsibility to society.
  12. Money is scarce. There is not enough of it to go around in the world.
  13. Money is abundant. There is more than enough of it to go around in the world.
  14. I’m smarter than the average person on the street about money.
  15. Money equals independence.
  16. If I hire someone to manage my money, I want to direct them about what to do.
  17. If I hire someone to manage my money, I want them to direct me about what to do.
  18. I must do work I don’t like in order to make money.
  19. I won’t do work I don’t like just to make money.
  20. Having a lot of money makes me feel guilty.
  21. Cash is the safest form of money.
  22. Taking on debt makes me nervous.
  23. Taking on debt makes me excited.
  24. Money in the bank is a fortress or moat that protects me.
  25. It is my responsibility to help with (or eliminate) money problems for close family members (parents or children).


  • Write down which of those “realities” might explain the situation(s) in your life where money has created a conflict.
  • Now finish this sentence: But maybe…
  • What could be possible that you haven’t seen up until now?

Emotional dissonance comes from our brains holding onto realities that are in conflict.

10 Other Places This can be applied:

  • Perfectionism
  • A word
  • Food
  • Alcohol
  • Email
  • Being on time
  • Taking responsibility
  • The news
  • Being a success
  • Love

3 Ways to Apply What We’ve Learned Today:

  1. See More – there are an infinite number of realities, yours isn’t the only one and none of them are real
    1. Use this insight to see what others in your life see
    2. Recognize that there is more to see than what you are seeing
    3. Look for new opportunities and possibilities
  2. Lead more
    1. Be calm. It’s not personal. Perspective is wisdom.
    2. Find the value in all the unique realities in your life
    3. Help others understand how their brain works so they can see more too
  3. Be More
    1. Take the wheel and decide who and what you want to be
    2. Learn/add a new perspectives and realities the same way you’d learn a physical skill (like “muscle memory”)
      1. Try this by switching to the opposite hand eating – it will feel like this learning any new skill

The Kinds of Change That Are Possible


  • Finding and pursuing purpose
  • Changing difficult interpersonal dynamics
  • Breaking out of ruts
  • Removing negative impulses


  • Opening new opportunities
  • Creating and problem solving
  • Clarity of communication
  • Team cohesion and effectiveness
  • Magnetic culture

Like what you see? Register for our upcoming workshops & webinars today!