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  1. If you look at the brain from a purely biological-physical standpoint, it's pretty interesting. At the base is the most ancient part, the reptilian brain. This is for fight of flight response, pure safety mechanisms. Then on top of that is the mammalian part. Social interactions, complicated emotions and feelings. And on top of that, is a very thin layer, the "neo-cortex" which literally means "new-brain." Since it's new, it doesn't control much of our activity. Our conscious minds don't perceive very much of what's going around us. AND our conscious minds don't really control much of our behaviors either. A lot of studies have shown that most of the time, our conscious brains are the LAST to know something's going on. There's also a couple if ideas that confuse how we think about things. One is that there is a slight "delay" between when things happen and when we respond. You can see this with a friend pretty easily. Have them sit and relax, and stare straight ahead. Then toss a wadded up ball of paper (or tennis ball or something) past the front of their face. If you make video recording, and play it back slowly, you'll see the ball goes by, and then about a quarter second later, the eyes move. But we FEEL LIKE our eyes move at the same time the ball passes. In that split second, our "pre-conscious processor" is trying to figure out what's important and what isn't. It's in that split second, between our subconscious actions and our conscious "noticing" of those actions, where we RATIONALIZE our actions. Some scientists have even gone so far as to describe our conscious minds as "story telling devices" to watch our subconscious and then tell ourselves a cool story about what we think we're doing. The good news is that this is AUTOMATIC. This was designed so we could live harmoniously in groups back when we were hunter-gatherers. And anything that is automatic can be re-trained. Everything you've ever learned to do, from a behavioral standpoint, (sports, music, typing, reading, etc.) is proof of this. Which means with practice, you can RE-WRITE how you respond to situations. For example, for many people, they look out into social situations, with interesting people and in that quarter-second, their subconscious decides it's scary, and then their conscious minds come up with a rationalization to JUSTIFY that feeling of "not wanting to interact with others." But you can RETRAIN what happens in that quarter-second. So instead of feeling anything that says, "don't talk to people," you can instead think whatever you want. Like, "those people are pretty cool and they'll enjoy it if I walk over." Or WHATEVER ELSE you want. Click Here To Learn More
  2. One common mistake we humans make is mistaking metaphors for truth. In NLP, this common mistake is referred to as "the map is not the territory." A lot of metaphors are simplified descriptions of complicated things our monkey brains can't possibly comprehend. It's an easy trap to fall into, since our language is filled with metaphors. Even that last sentence has a couple metaphors. "Trap" isn't a physical thing, it's an idea about a wrong way of thinking. But we have to think of it "as if" it were a physical object, so we know how to treat it grammatically. And since getting into something accidentally (wrong ways of thinking) that you can't get out of sounds like a 'trap' so use the word 'trap' and the phrase 'fall into' along with it. The second metaphor in that sentence up there is that our "language is filled with metaphors." Both language and metaphor are abstract nouns. But we have to use them as if they are real objects. What kind of objects? Language is a "container" because it's "filled" with metaphors that we "use." Because we use the word "use" that indicates we think of metaphors as tools. Since we use tools. (Man this is getting confusing!) But an equally unhelpful mistake is not to think that metaphors are actual things, but misunderstand the "magic" that we tend to forget about ordinary things. (Wait, what?) We tend to take a complicated process, use a metaphor to describe it, and then think that metaphor some magical understanding of reality. When all around us are things we take for granted, that really ARE magical. Like the process by which thoughts become things. This sounds like a metaphorical description. Some kind of "law of attraction" mumbo jumbo. But is a very REAL process. Every single thing that has been made (and isn't random object in it's natural form) was FIRST an idea in somebody's mind. The most complicated things most of us can't begin to understand, to gorgeous works of art that took the artist years to create, were first IDEAS. Abstract things that existed in people's minds. And by continuing to focus on them, and continuing to TAKE ACTION, (usually with the help of a lot of other people) those thoughts slowly transformed into things. Everything you see around you was a thought. All of the thoughts YOU have and will have and have had, CAN become things. But the process won't happen on it's own. You've got to be able to share your vision with others. Convince them of it's beauty. Get help to make it happen. Between your idea and that thing it will become is your ability to share it effectively with others. Click Here to learn more.
  3. I took an improv acting class once. It was not like I expected. I'd thought it was some kind of comedy thing. But it way different. Most of it was these really goofy but strangely eye opening exercises. For example, all of the students were in the center, and the professor would say, "Doghouse." And then we'd have to move around into the shape of a doghouse, but WITHOUT any overt communication. No words, no gestures, pointing etc. And he kept shouting out different shapes, and after the third or fourth one, all of us (who barely knew each other) would immediately get into position. The thing about human communication is we tend to put WAY too much emphasis on words. Studies have shown over and over that words only make up 7% of we're saying. So if you are ONLY focusing on what specific words to say, you're missing a HUGE part of the puzzle. Unfortunately, one thing that keeps you from "feeling" the other 93% is stress. Once we are under stress, we close off and start to think in terms of "fight or flight." A good exercise to do on a regular basis is to people watch. Turn off your phone, get a table near the window, and just watch. Turn off your mind as much as you can, and simply absorb all the non-verbal communication going on around you. Try and guess which people are happy, which are bored, which are trying to sell something, etc. Think of this as building your "unconscious communication" muscle. The flip side of this is how you present yourselves to others. If you're worried and nervous, everybody is going to know, at least on an unconscious level. Simply toning down your anxiety will open you up to a HUGE portion of the non-verbal communication that is going on all the time. This does take practice, but is very powerful. And you'll have access to a whole new world most people never see. Click Here to Learn More.
  4. If you're in a really good mood, then you can look out into the world and see nothing but opportunity. On the other hand, if you are in a bad mood, (maybe you just got yelled at by your boss) then everything looks like crap. It's very easy to feel like the world is cause, and we are effect. Makes you feel small and insignificant. And because our monkey brains are hard wired to be hyper-sensitive to anything that might mean danger, it's EASY to fall into a negative cycle. Somebody bad happens, and then we start to focus on the BILLIONS of things that COULD mean more bad stuff is about to happen. It's enough to make you want to hide under your bed all day! Luckily, it's fairly easy to take control of your brain. Just choose what to focus on. This is hard at the beginning, but it's definitely a strength that can help in ALL areas of your life. Choosing where you point your brain instead of letting it choose on its own. Then you can focus on all the ways where you are a NET POSITIVE influence on the world. All it takes is getting out side, and specifically looking for examples. Walk down the street with a smile on your face, and ONLY FOCUS on those who smile back. Forget all the rest. Maybe the first day you get one or two. Next day maybe two or three. If you KEEP THIS UP, you'll have a deep and solid feeling that YOU make the world a BETTER place simply by existing. This feeling, of course, will spur you to WANT to get involved in the world a lot more. And with a lot more creativity. There are a kajillion things out there you can focus your brain on. YOU get to choose whether you let IT control YOU, or YOU control IT. Click Here to learn more.
  5. One of our biggest problems as humans is a mismatch in our instincts. The easiest way to see this is by looking at hunger as an instinct. Meaning it motivates us to do something, (eat) so much that no matter how hard we try to ignore it consciously, it's nearly impossible to do so. This is why losing weight through sheer willpower is nearly impossible. But in the old days, before they invented large societies, being always hungry was a good thing. Because finding food was a chore. It took all day, and even then you might not have anything other than a handful of bananas. One of our other instincts that get in the way is how we perceive strangers. We think they are much more dangerous than they really are, since that's how it was back in the old days. If you didn't have an automatic "strangers are dangerous" response, chances are you wouldn't have lasted very long. So if you feel any kind of social anxiety, however weak or strong, it's totally normal. But since few people only talk about this, it seems as YOU are the only one. The good news is that you can easy "outframe" your instincts. If you've ever consciously outthought your "hunger" instincts, you know this is possible. How do you do it with social instincts? The trick is to "go meta" when it comes to thinking of your "social group." For example, there's probably a category of people (friends, relatives, colleagues, etc.) that you feel comfortable around. Anybody outside of this group trigger your ancient "strangers are dangerous" reaction. The trick is to start to see ALL people as part of your social group. This won't happen instantly, but with practice, you can build up that feeling. How? It requires you constantly hold the "looking for familiarities" frame instead of "looking for differences" frame. Whenever you see somebody, your subconscious rapidly categorizes them as "friend" or "not friend." And if they fall into the "not friend" category, your subconscious AUTOMATICALLY puts in quickly into the "potential enemy" category. The trick is to purposely hold a frame, whenever you see a stranger, of "what's similar between me and them?" for as LONG as you can. With enough practice, you'll learn how to see EVERYBODY as friendly, and behave just like you would with old buddies. Click Here to learn more.
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