*This is an article from the Fall 2022 issue of Contentment Magazine.

Book Review -The Brain: From Knowing to Doing

By Heidi Hanna, PhD, FAIS

Dr. Gordon is a pioneer in the field of Applied Integrative Neuroscience. In 2001, he founded the Total Brain brain-training platform and largest standardized international brain database. Dr. Gordon is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress, a featured expert in the AIS Docuseries “Mismatched,” and a regular contributor to Contentment magazine. 

In his book, The Brain: From Knowing to Doing, Dr. Gordon draws insights from the Total Brain database and key learnings from over a million users of products he has helped create and deploy. He highlights the centrality of Emotion-driven Stress and provides a simple framework for generating new habits to reduce stress, in the moment and in the long run. 

This simple but powerful book takes you through three primary sections: understanding how the brain works, learning how to create sustainable new habits, and the convergence of experience, understanding and awareness into Integrative Wisdom, ultimately bridging the gap between what we know and what we do to make it easier to live the life we want. 

The Brain: From Knowing to Doing makes brain science and stress reduction accessible and applicable to daily life, work, and relationships. This book will empower the reader to take on their ambitions and create deeper relationships, personally and in their community. 


The key book takeaways focus on how to bridge the 3 biggest gaps in life: 

  1. KNOWING: Until you measure and align your non-conscious ‘emotion intuition’ and conscious rational thinking, you are walking around in the dark. Emotions trigger stress and that impacts every stress dynamic in life.  Chronic stress is a health and joy killer.
  2. DOING: The biggest gap in generating any new habit is between Knowing and Doing! You can wire any new habit, but not without a brain-based plan. The Gordon 3-Step Plan brings together evidence-based details about How to Know-Train-Transfer any new habit into your daily life. Chapter 2 is a deep dive into using your brain for change. Your brain can be your biggest ally or your biggest enemy. Creating new habits is stressful because of the threat of failure and the most common mistake, overreaching. Implementing brain hacks is the least stressful and most successful way to create new sustainable habits.
  3. INTEGRATIVE WISDOM: Dr. Gordon finalizes his book in by introducing a new concept, integrative wisdom. To integrate means to bring together or unite. Wisdom is not just what you know, but how you apply that knowledge to your life and relationships. Integrative wisdom takes time, experience, resilience, and fortitude. It is earned. Integrative wisdom happens through an open rather than a closed mindset. When you are open, you can embrace all nuggets of wisdom wherever you can find them.

The Brain: From Knowing to Doing gives you the tools to further your personal journey, build stress mastery into your daily routine, and fast-track your Integrative wisdom for a more fulfilling life. 


Heidi Hanna, PhD is a New York Times best-selling author who has written seven books and has spent the past 20 years researching the impact of stress on the brain and presenting mental fitness strategies across the globe. Heidi has been an instructor at Harvard Extension, a fellow with the American Institute of Stress, and she’s a certified humor professional, although she won’t admit she’s funny. Learn more about Heidi at www.heidihanna.com.  

Contentment Magazine

The dictionary defines “content” as being in a state of peaceful happiness.  The AIS magazine is called Contentment because we want all of our guests and members to find contentment in their lives by learning about stress management and finding what works best for each them.  Stress is unavoidable, and comes in many shapes and sizes that makes being in a state of peaceful happiness seem like a very lofty goal.  But happiness is easy to find once you are able to find ways to manage your stress and keep a healthy perspective when going though difficult times in life.  You will always have stress, but stress does not always have you!

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