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Updated on March 10, 2016

The Purple Lens

I love psychology, sociology and neuroscience; navigating the ever-changing landscape of business, career and personal life. Through SATORI, experiential learning and humor I help you expand your comfort zone, knowledge and capabilities. Put on those purple lenses, get engaged, and enjoy the ride.

What do we mean by put on those purple lenses? If you think you can just read a book, listen to a talk or watch a webinar and you’ll magically understand and comprehend everything you’re wrong.

Several years ago, I was helping my son with his high school classes when all of that development turned on the light switch in my brain (my moment of SATORI).

My son and I were talking about rhetoric and the rhetorical devices used in persuasion. Some of you might know these through their technical terms (Ethos, Pathos and Logos), but what we’re talking about are emotional appeals (ethos), ethical appeals (pathos) and logical appeals (logos), the Venn Diagram.

I took these “appeals” and applied them to life. I recognized that most of us spend the majority of our lives centered in one of these appeals. Sherlock Holmes, for example, thinks mostly logically. Many of us, including me, are emotional thinkers, making ethos our go to state of mind. Finally, some of us are ethical thinkers, centering our lives around religion or principles. The beauty of SATORI is that it’s for EVERYONE. No matter where you fit into the Venn Diagram, SATORI can help. In life, most of us find a comfort zone in one of these major appeals. SATORI helps you break out of your normal comfort zone to think thoroughly, productively and creatively; either to change recurring situations or when faced with new and unfamiliar ones. In other words, you can easily shift between zones (perspectives) when you need to. To make the process less confusing, SATORI breaks down these zones into lenses. So let’s talk about the lenses.

The Lenses of Brown, Pink and Red


The brown lens is the “dictator” lens. Looking through this lens means you are always right. Through this lens, no gray area can be seen. Everything is in black and white with “no” being the go-to. Wearing this lens, you dominate and avoid domination. In my experience, the people wearing this lens are often hypocritical and love to play “devil’s advocate.” They have little regard for the feelings and emotions of others, and in fact, themselves as well.


The pink lens is all our innate emotions coded in our genes. When wearing the pink lens your reactions to obstacles, circumstances and challenges are automatic and immediate. Let me explain further in technical terms. Emotions are lower level responses occurring in the subcortical regions of the brain, the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortices, creating biochemical reactions in your body altering your physical state. They originally helped our species survive by producing quick reactions to threats, rewards, sounds, anything in the environment. Emotions play out in the realm of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind. Emotional reactions are coded in our genes and while they are unique only to you- attachments vary slightly with each of us and depending on circumstances, they are generally universally similar across all humans and even other species.


The red lens is the “past” lens. These are our limiting beliefs. So it goes this is the ‘feelings’ lens. When seeing through this lens, you’re relating or trying to relate the past to the present or into the future.

Feelings originate in the neocortical regions of the brain, are mental associations and reactions to emotions, and are subjective being influenced by personal experience, beliefs, and memories. A feeling is the mental portrayal of what is going on in your body when you have an emotion and is the byproduct of your brain perceiving and assigning meaning to the emotion. Feelings are the next thing that happens after having an emotion, involve cognitive input, and is usually subconscious. Feelings are shaped by a person’s temperament and experiences and vary greatly from person to person and situation to situation. Meaning, feelings are labels for emotions which are more subjective. Two people can feel the same emotion but label it using different names. For example, the word ‘fight’ to me means someone is going to get hit for someone else it could mean love as in to fight for my mother’s attention. Your emotions and feelings play a powerful role in how you experience and interact with the world because they are the driving force behind behaviors, helpful and unhelpful.

The Lenses of Yellow, Purple Blue


The yellow lens is the “detective” lens. You wear this lens when you are looking for the cold, hard facts. This lens helps you distinguish which limiting beliefs are pertinent and which you have to let go of. This is also the lens you wear when you’re weeding out the drama and focusing only on the facts. The key (as I go more in-depth into in my courses) is asking better questions.


The purple lens is the “creative” lens. This is the lens you wear when you are brainstorming.

A creative will be communicative, warm, approachable and competitive. They’ll be aware of what’s already working then expand from there into what’s possible to reach as far as one can go to the impossible. ...

When you’re wearing the Purple lenses think about the upside- the benefits and the opportunities available. Steve Jobs said of the creative mind- "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things."

In fact, It’s this lens that started you on your path to finding us..


The blue lens is seen as the lens of stability. the blue lens achieves objectives through understanding and mutual respect rather than force or authority. When seeing through this lens you can see all the contributions from all the lenses, organize them, and keep the peace between everyone at the table. Your super power is compassion, gentleness and non-violence. You’re dependable, reliable, show up when you say, keep your word. You are a excellent team builder. Did we hear from everyone- did we get to all the other ways we can think about this problem or issue out on the table? The Blue lens helps to keep the peace, adds patience and stays on task.

The lenses of Green and Clear


The green lens is the ‘leadership’ lens. Leadership doesn't have a one-size-fits-all definition. We all have our own ideas about what it means to be a good leader. For example, some people think leadership means guiding others to complete a particular task, while others believe it means motivating the members of your team to be their best selves. But while the definitions may vary, the general sentiments remain the same: leaders are people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people along the way. Leadership is having a vision, sharing that vision and inspiring others to support your vision while creating their own reasons for doing so. Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished. Great leaders understand the talents and temperaments of each individual and effectively motivate each person to contribute individually their best toward achieving the group goal.


The clear lens is the moment of SATORI where you stand, for a moment with complete clarity in the middle- Free from the constraints of your PRIMARY lens and able to freely choose to put another lens on or not.

Closing Remarks

As I mentioned earlier SATORI is an awakening of comprehension and understanding. Although often referred to as a sudden, indescribable breakthrough, the irony is that it can’t actually be taught, much the same way you can’t teach someone to ride a bike. However, you can teach someone the mechanics and the process of riding a bike (one foot on the ground, one foot on the pedal, push off with the ground foot and start pedaling). You can even give them training wheels. But, only through experiential learning do you learn the balance necessary to remove those training wheels and ride the bike. SATORI is the process, the mechanics and the training wheels of wisdom. But, only through experiential learning can you achieve SATORI.



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