On Speaking the Language of Your Mind

 

As we grow up, we learn how to interact with the world. The way we communicate with superiors (bosses, parents, etc.) is very different than the way we communicate with friends, family, and significant others. We learn how to communicate properly by observing how others around us are doing so. Perhaps we may even read a book or two on how to communicate with others (such as Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People).

However, there is one set of communication skills that is grossly neglected by our society: communicating with our own minds. Why is this important, you ask? Simple. Can you think back to a time when you understood that it would be best to do one thing, but you ended up doing the total opposite? I think we’ve all been there at least once, whether it was overindulging on desserts or procrastinating all weekend. Why is it that we can determine the best logical choice, but end up doing something completely different? It’s because most people don’t know how to communicate with the part of their minds that controls automatic behaviors, urges, emotions, and habit forming (otherwise known as the subconscious mind).

Because there are so few people in our society who understand how to communicate with this very important part of our minds, we just assume that fighting impulse, emotion, and habit with willpower and rational thinking is the proper response. It’s not. The failure rates of diets and various other lifestyle changes show that willpower and rational thinking are often not enough to make difficult, worthwhile alterations to your life. In response, most people try harder and harder, only to keep failing against the untiring resistance of their subconscious mind. Continue Reading…

Why You Need to Study Psychology

Considering how busy I am, I seek to only read books and blogs that are incredibly effective at teaching their subject matter. After two years of discovering and analyzing the best blogs in various categories, I started noticing a trend. Whether it was personal finance, bodybuilding, or entrepreneurship, there was one commonality that was shared amongst highly acclaimed blogs. The best blogs in every field were incredibly well-versed in psychology. In particular, behavioral psychology (the study of what conditions us to behave the way we do). Two examples of very effective blogs with a significant focus on psychology are LeanGains (bodybuilding) and I Will Teach You to be Rich (personal finance). Continue Reading…

Two Powerful Life Lessons from John Adams

 

My latest obsession is the HBO series John Adams. In it, Adams, upon asked if he studies the arts during his visit to France, replies with the following quote (which I later verified to be historically accurate):

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

Five days after hearing this quote, I’ve found myself unable to get it out of my head because it represents such a powerful truth about life. Adams was, at the time, facing the monumental challenge of shaping a new nation. When facing a challenge of this proportion, it becomes essential to immerse yourself in what is necessary, rather than what is desired. Anyone could tell you that it would be foolish for Mr. Adams to spend his free time learning poetry or sculpting when there is so much at stake. Continue Reading…