In the USA there is a TV channel that is different, it does not play ads, sick reality shows, or other mind numbing IQ dropping junk. It is called Public TV and is mostly paid for by viewers. That is what I was watching one day when I came across a wonderful program by a gentlemen named Dr. Daniel G Aymen, physician, child and adult psychiatrist, brain imaging specialist, bestselling author,etc.
It was about natural ways to strengthen and improve your brain functionality. As Dr. Amen quotes ”brains run schools, banks, companies and countries…”. It is therefore important to invest in your brain development.
Here is what he has to say.
Normal is boring. We are all different in our own ways. There really is no concept called normal.
ADD, attention deficit disorder affects more and more and it is not just young kids. Symptoms of ADD include short attention spans, poor impulse control and being disorganized. Short attention span applies only to routine work but not to novel situations. This is why it is difficult to diagnose ADD.
A few key natural supplements endorsed by Dr. Amen:
Green Tea – Weight loss, depression control.
St. John’s Wort – Depression control
SAM-E – Low energy and depression control
Dr. Amen cautions repeatedly that some supplements work for some and not for others. The human body is a wonderful invention it is however not a cookie cutter machine.
5 Ways to Boost Your Willpower
- Don’t get your blood pressure low. Frequent small meals plus protein will prevent this condition from occurring.
- Get good sleep.
- Write down specific goals and read them out every day.Ask yourself if your behavior is getting you closer to the goals or not.
- Practice your will power.
- Balance your brain chemistry (the doctor in Amen speaking). Get help from professionals ( and again here).
Being a doctor he has to give some prescriptions and so here they are but with a twist.
12 Prescriptions for Mental Health
Love your brain
Protect your brain
Stop poisoning your brain. No alcohol, no drugs, reduce caffeine, don’t use cleaning materials without open doors and windows. I think I just shot my weekend plans
Protect your memory. Take early memory problems seriously. Early detection is crucial. There exist simple paper tests to detect memory loss.
Exercise regularly. Physically active people were found to have the best cognitive ability. I finished a rigorous workout a few hours and was finally able to write this post after putting it off for exactly a week.
Take the supplement Gingko
Take the supplement Sage.
Good sleep. Statistical fact.Sleep deprived people cause more accidents than drunk drivers.
Learn brain healthy ways to deal with pain/chronic pain.
Brain healthy diets:
Lean protein. My wife is not happy with my reconversion to non vegetarianism. Perhaps this will help.
Avocados. No not anacondas!
Walnuts. And they taste great too!
Physical exercise. It boosts blood flow to the brain. 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week.
Mental exercise. Learning something new generates new neurons.
This one is my favorite. Notice what you love about your life more than what you hate about it. SPECT (a type of brain scan) scans were radically different for people who focussed on negative thoughts versus those whoe focussed on positive thoughts. Finally there is science behind all the positivity talk.
And a variant of the above. Notice what you love about others more than what you dislike about them.
An optimistic mindset.
What distinguishes Dr. Amen is that he explains neuroscience in a style that is engaging, informative and actually entertaining.
OK so how about switching off Simon on American Idol
Below are some books that Dr. Amen wrote which you might like if you liked this post. And hey post a comment if you liked this or for some strange reason did not.
Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren conducted a teleseminar called ‘The League of Extraordinary Minds‘ on the subject of motivation and peak performance. Some of the greatest business thinkers shared their most important insights on the subject of personal motivation and peak performance. They were:
Before I tell you how I stumbled across this secret let me share with you a story.
Have you ever had days when you were in flow, you were unstoppable. You were so good you surprised yourself.
I remember one such incident when I was on fire. I was on such a winning streak that I assumed leadership of the situation and became a person others looked up to. Unfortunately this only lasted for the duration of the trip…5 days.
I was back to my timid bovine style after that. I still remember this brief fleeting moment even though it occurred 13 years ago!
There were more such fleeting moments but it seemed there was nothing I could do to control when I could get these and how long it could last. It appeared that fate was in control.
Until recently that is.
One day I came home full of dread about a long application form that I had to fill in.
I had been delaying this for many days and it started weighing on me.
But as soon as I came home I happened to start clearing up my dining table of junk mail and other crap.
It took almost an hour to clear the mess but I started feeling better about myself.
Next I bathed my son, read him a book and rocked him to sleep. If you know my son you will know this was an accomplishment in itself
I was feeling even more good about myself.
I felt I had accomplished something.
Guess what I did next…that is right I started filling up the application form!
The secret I am talking about is momentum.
An object at rest stays at rest but an object in motion keeps moving.
This principle is so powerful when used at will.
Imagine starting your daydoing the right things …things that add to your momentum.
No wonder my day was shot when I used to get up late versus when I got up early.
Brian Tracy talks about eating a frog first thing in the morning.
By this he is referring to the ugly and monstrous task that you have been delaying.
When you finish the most unappealing task first thing in the morning then the rest of your day will only get better.
But I have a different take on this.
I find that eating a frog (figuratively speaking of course, no frogs were harmed in writing this post!) takes a lot of willpower.
Doing the smaller things first builds up a reservoir of positive feelings that boost your self esteem and give you more power to take on the challenging tasks.
Whichever way works for you I hope I have been able to convey the tremendous leverage that momentum provides you.
If you like my post then please click on the tweet button.
If you have had similar experiences then please post it. I would love some vindication.
The action habit that will overcome our addictions and drive us to achieve our goals and dreams.
People do not follow through because of fear. They sit back and hope it will change.
But the successful people follow through because of the fear of what will happen if they do not.
The most important thing is getting started. Once you start keep the momentum going by developing daily rituals.
To get started you need a ‘Why’.
And then you need a sense of certainty.
The one thing that is different between successful and unsuccessful is a sense of certainty.
I never did ‘get it’ though until Tony Robbins outlined the below diagram.
That was when it finally hit me.
Below then is the diagram.
The Holy Grail For Taking Action And Getting Results
Step 1 – Potential
You can never achieve it physically until you change your mindset.
Step 2 – What action to take
Step 3 – Results from the actions you take
Step 4 – Belief system
The four steps above can start a vicious cycle. If you believe you do not have what it takes viz. potential you will not take effective action. Not taking action will lead to poor results which in turn will feed your belief system about you not being worth much.
On the other hand if you develop a sense of certainty you will take massive action which in turn will produce great results and in turn reinforce your belief about your sense of worth.
So how do you develop a sense of certainty.
This breakthrouh occurs by conditioning your mind every day. Start a ritual where you visualize your future as if you are already there.
We are defined by our rituals.
The mind exerts an enormous influence on one’s performance.
A study was conducted where basketball players were divided into three groups.
The first group practiced rigorously on the court for six months.
The second group was told to not even touch the ball.
The third group was told to practice mentally. More specifically they were told to practice making the perfect shot every time they threw the ball.
So which group won… the group that indulged in perfect practice mentally.
To recap …
Get a powerful why.
Work on one thing a day.
Believe in something.
It takes guts to believe.
Only the gutless are skeptical and cynical.
Remember this – in life you will end up with one of two things – a result or a story.
Would you rather not end up with the result you dream about instead of a story about why it was not possible.
Did the above diagram have the same impact on you as it did on me.
I was very impressed with this book in fact blown away.
You see I was always the kind of person that you would describe as book smart but not street smart.
For the first time I received practical strategies that I could use to influence others instead of pie in the sky positive thinking crap spewed by most authors including the ones I admire such as Tony Robbins or John Maxwell.
It was like a blind man gaining vision.
This book uses specific psychological strategies that are independent of race, gender etc. They are driven by human nature.
Get the other person to like you
The fundamental premise of this book is that you need to get the other person to like you before you can influence him.
The author lists nine strategies to achieve this.
The first is the law of association. When you are suffering from pain then whoever it is that is with you at that moment will get associated with the pain. You will not look forward to seeing this person!
If you would desire a particular person to like then be with that person while experiencing strong emotions. Strong empotions such as the ones you experience while riding the roller coaster help bond the association.
A youthful walking posture will also help raise your attractiveness level regardless of your age.
Build rapport by imitating the gestures and speaking style of the other person. Of course do not be too obvious with this tactic. Some examples are matching the gestures, the speaking pace and so on.
The author quotes a surprising statement. In order for someone to like you it is not necessary to do good things for him. What you need to do is make the other person feel good about himself. You can do this by getting the person to do a favor for you.
Become a human lie detector
One of the neat strategies he talks about is called the ‘Connundrum’ as a great lie detector test. In this strategy you make up a story and pass it off as a fact to the unsuspecting party.
Depening on the reaction you get to your story you will get a pretty good idea of whether you are being lied to or not.
As an illustration of how you can use this strategy assume you are the wife of a husband who has claimed to be at the movies and you suspect that he actually had a romantic rendezvous with a woman.
You could make up a story about how bad the traffic was at the theatre the husband had purportedly visited. If you notice even a brief hesitation before he replies then he has already played his hand. Had he really been at the movies he would not have any trouble commenting on the traffic.
How to influence others to take action
Present fewer options. People generally either freeze or keep changing their decisions when presented with multiple options.
If you want to discourage a person from taking a specific action outline the number of steps she will need to take if she were to continue on her course of action. For e.g. to develop an acute dislike for cooking you could list the effort it will take to drive the store, walk up and down the aisles to select the purchase and then wait indefinitely at the checkout counters.
Conversely you can omit steps if you want the person to take your suggested course of action.
How to handle rude people
This one is perfect for me and not because I am rude but because I am the butt of rudeness!
I was once talking to an acquaintance about a job that he took in the NY city, a long commute from where we live. I asked him innocently why he did not chose to work at the White Plains office of his employer as that would be closer home. That was when he poured out *@#$*@#@.
So rather than reacting angrily or defensively to rude b…rs you need to throw the ball right into their court by saying something like “You seem to be having a rough day” or ” You seem very upset”.
By doing this you do not become a part of his problem. You throw the problem back into his court.
How to criticize without getting burnt by it
Criticize about something long after the event took place. This helps reduce the sting.
Criticize the action and not the person.
While criticizing convey the impression that the other person may not even have been aware of his actions that have invited your criticism.
The author lists many other strategies to handle sexual abuse and rape.
But then being a person who is not interested in raping anyone or for that matter someone who can never be the victim of rape I really was not too interested in it:)
However for the benefit of my numerous female admirers that are reading my blog ( being a realist is not one of my virtues!) here are some pointers.
- Act like you are interested in a sexual intercourse with the rapist. This will disarm him enough for you to inflict physical harm on him and escape.
- Pretend that you have a incurable and infectious disease such as AIDS.
- Act crazy. A rapist thrives on his sense of control. A crazy victim will deny him that pleasure.