Author of the viral Medium piece, “Poor and Traumatized at Harvard,” Due Quach (pronounced "Zway Kwok") shares her Calm Clarity program to show readers how to deal with toxic stress and adversity.

We often don’t realize how much control we have over our thoughts, feelings, and actions–on some days, the most minor irritation can upset us, but on others, we are in our best form and can rise to challenges with grace. These fluctuations depend on the neural networks firing in our brains, and we have the power to consciously break hardwired thought patterns. Due Quach developed an intimate understanding of the brain during her personal journey of healing from post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Quach, people function in three primary emotional states: Brain 1.0, Brain 2.0, and Brain 3.0. In Brain 1.0, people act out of fear and self-preservation. Brain 2.0 involves instant gratification and chasing short-term rewards at the expense of long-term well-being. Brain 3.0 is a state of mind that Quach calls “calm clarity,” in which people’s actions are aligned with their core values. As Quach confronted PTSD and successfully weaned herself off medication, she learned how to activate, exercise, and strengthen Brain 3.0 like a muscle. In Calm Clarity, she draws on the latest scientific research and ancient spiritual traditions alike to show us how we too can take ownership of our thoughts, feelings, and actions in order to be our best selves.

Due Quach is the founder and CEO of Calm Clarity, a social enterprise that uses science to help people master their mind and be their best self. A refugee from Vietnam and a graduate of Harvard College and the Wharton MBA program, Quach overcame the long-term effects of poverty and trauma by turning to neuroscience and meditation. She built a successful business career in management consulting in the US and Asia and then in private equity investments in Southeast Asia. Quach designed the Calm Clarity Program to be accessible to people of all backgrounds and now leads Calm Clarity workshops in inner-city high schools, university lecture halls, and corporate executive board rooms alike. She is also the founding chair and executive director of the Collective Success Network, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that supports low-income, first-generation college students in achieving their academic and career aspirations.

“One of the best books I have ever read. Yes, this book is about rewiring your brain for greater wisdom and joy, but it also shares Due’s compelling story of resilience and grit, a very personal account of shifting from entanglement to enlightenment.”

—Rick Bellingham, EdD, CEO of iobility

“The book is a tour de force—really well written, clear, easy to follow, and inspiring.”

—Tom Tritton, former president of Haverford College and the Chemical Heritage Foundation

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