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Your Brain is a Spaceship and You are it's Captain

So, you think you are in control of your brain? Well, you might be - but lets take a look at who else is living in there with you...

Engineering Crew

These take care of the way your body functions. Some of them work independently (like your heart beat and digestion) and some of them take instructions from your brain (like breathing and moving muscles). These guys make sure that the ship is in top physical condition and running smoothly and, as the captain, you look after them by providing them with sleep, nutritious food and exercise.

Research Team

They help you to learn by processing different information and transferring it to your long term memory. Your research team has different gifts in terms of the way they can receive knowledge - be it read, heard or done. You can find out about your own learning style here:

Pilots and Navigation Teams

These characters have a series of teams to help you get from where you are to where you are going called executive functions. These teams include:

  • planning and prioritising - this team decides what the goals are and the best way for the ship to get where it needs to go.

  • organisation - these are the IT experts, making sure that all of the information is stored in the right places and the maps and data can be accessed when they are needed. They also are in charge of the rosters and covering duties.

  • working memory - this team is looking at the screens reading out all the current data and making sure everyone knows what is relevant right now...

  • task initiation - this is the pilot who engages the engines and starts the ship moving in the right direction.

  • self-monitoring - this team makes sure that the ship stays on track and everything is going as it should.

  • impulse control - this is the team in charge of distraction limitation and making sure that the ship doesn't get pulled into too many side quests so that it can get where it needs to be in time.

  • flexible thinking - this team is called into action when there are unexpected obstacles along the route. They are the problem solvers and the work-around-ers.

  • emotional control - this is the well-being team that tries to keep everyone calm and all the processes running smoothly.

The captain can look after the navigation crew by making sure that the ship is shipshape, finding external strategies to support the crew, taking a solution-focused approach and learning to identify saboteurs when they work their way into these executive functions. You can find out more about your relative executive functioning strengths and weaknesses here:

Security Personnel

These officers are in charge of protecting the ship and are well known for their 3 most common responses - fight, flight or freeze (although there are a couple more in their repertoire). Some captains have developed great command muscles and are in charge of this section of the brain, but on other ships the security personnel are controlled more by the chemicals running through their system and some of the saboteurs that can infiltrate it. The captain can look after the security officers by building self-command muscles (like meditation and mindfulness), addressing triggers from their past and taking time to look after their own well-being.


Every spaceship must have a level of intrigue and yours is no different. Hiding amongst the crew, somewhere in your space ship, there is a team of 10 saboteurs, led by their boss - the judge. The security team has their best chance of catching these saboteurs once they can recognise them. These saboteurs infiltrate your crew with their negativity, although some will be much stronger than others. Some of these saboteurs you may even value as their negativity can sometimes produce the results we are looking for, but at a cost. The judge's accomplices are the controller, hyper-achiever, restless, stickler, pleaser, hyper-vigilant, avoider, victim and hyper-rational. These saboteurs were once security personnel when we were children, but as we have grown into adults we no longer need them around. You can find out more about your relative saboteur interference here:

Diplomatic Contingent

Then there is a group of officers responsible for making first contact and diplomatic relations with other peoples. Some of those aliens are familiar and similar to us, and others are clearly not. The diplomatic contingent is responsible for learning the other languages and customs, for navigating treaties and alliances, for strengthening relationships and avoiding wars. They learn through experience and exposure to those around them. The captain can look after the diplomatic contingent by ensuring there is the right ratio of alone and social time for that particular contingent, by building up positive self-esteem and monitoring that relationships with people are positive and reciprocal. If you would like to find out more about your own language of connection, look here:

Commanding Officers

These are your inner circle of advisers - each an expert in their own area. Often using the voices of people who have raised you - a parent or favourite teacher or special aunt. They hold the beliefs that you value and keep coming back to. You can help your commanding officers to support you better by becoming aware of their various beliefs and by strengthening your sage powers of empathise, explore, innovate, navigate and activate. You rely on your second in command and your chief officers to think clearly and with compassion, to understand issues comprehensively, to come up with ideas, to choose the best way forward and to follow that plan. You can find out if your positive sage skills are overpowering your saboteurs, your than test your PQ here:


And then there is you... trying to oversee an entire ship full of crew mates, all making their own decisions and looking to you for guidance. Trying to gain control over the thought and actions of this brain and body that you have been given. To determine your place in the world and how to fit in the society that people have generated. To determine who you really are at your essence. This test won't give you that answer - or anything close to it - because discovering that is a life-time journey, but it might give you an insight or two...

So that was my grand-tour around your brain/spaceship. Hopefully you could recognise some of your departments in the journey. I sometimes ask my client to do one or two of the links provided depending on what their goals are for the time we have together, as they help me to get a clearer picture of how each of the departments are performing, but I certainly don't ask for every quiz from every client. Sometimes the insight these quizzes give is invaluable.

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